| This third edition of Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary and Materials highlights the consolidation of the process of dispute management and resolution, particularly in the government sector. We are now seeing the full impact of government changes to the handling of civil disputation, with the establishment and fusing of specialist tribunals and commissions. The result of the creation of these extra-judicial bodies has been a reduction in some jurisdictions of matters proceeding to trial. The interesting side-effect of this development is the rise of dispute resolution processes within these specialist tribunals and commissions that seek resolution of disputes in order to avoid hearings.
This new edition brings the law up-to-date and features:
Dispute Resolution in Australia: Cases, Commentary and Materials, third edition, is an invaluable resource for both students and practitioners, providing practical guidance and analysis in this dynamic area of the law.
Robert J. Rhudy from the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office has just released a preliminary report on current and emerging career trends in conflict resolution. While the report focuses on the United States, many of the findings are equally applicable in the Australian context.
The information in the preliminary report (which is 61 pages long) is taken from a range of sources including interviews with conflict resolution professionals, professors, and other knowledgable people across the US, and through literature searches and internet reviews of job listings.
Rhudy concludes that there is good news and bad news about the current situation in the US, summarised as “The field continues to have a high supply of providers, low market demand, and high social need”. There was, however, also optimism that as economic conditions improved, there would be more opportunities in the field of conflict resolution.
The report identifies that as well as people making a career in conflict resolution, many public and private organisations are now looking for conflict resolution skills in their employees, so having these skills increases employment and promotion opportunities.
A particularly encouraging finding is that, with the growth of academic programs in the field, there has been a corresponding growth in academic research and publishing about conflict resolution, and a growing recognition of the importance of this research.
The full report contains much more detail and quotes from influential people in the field. There is also a section with practical advice about how to get work and make a career in conflict resolution.
The full report is available here: http://www.mediate.com/pdf/Current&EmergingCareerTrends.pdf
IBISWorld research has just released a report on Alternative Dispute Resolution Services in Australia (IBISWorld Industry Report OD4116, February 2014).
The report is summed up with the phrase “Undisputed growth: Demand for industry services as an alternative to litigation increases”.
The executive summary of the report explains:
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Services industry in Australia provides individuals and corporations avenues to resolve disputes that do not involve litigation. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), generally consisting of mediation, conciliation and arbitration, has surged in popularity during the past decade, underpinning strong growth in industry revenue and profitability. Industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualised 6.4% over the five years through 2013-14 to be worth $682.9 million, with growth of 6.0% forecast for the current year.
Growth has been underpinned by the increasing use of ADR to solve commercial, family and workplace disputes. ADR provides a number of benefits relative to litigation. ADR is generally cheaper, faster, more flexible and confidential, and less adversarial than going to court. Since the mid-1990s, governments have supported the use of ADR by introducing a number of mandatory and optional schemes, particularly in the areas of employment, family and commercial arbitration law. Business has also turned to ADR, as the tight economic climate, rising cost of litigation and threat of reputational damage and class actions led companies to seek an alternative to litigation. Both trends are expected to continue over the next five years.
The increased scope of industry activity has encouraged many new players to enter the industry and existing players to expand, while employment has also grown strongly. As the industry becomes more established, this growth in enterprises and establishments is expected to slow. However, employment growth is likely to continue at a similar rate as existing players grow their businesses.
The reforms of the past few years have positioned the industry well for growth, with governments and business expected to continue turning to ADR as an alternative to litigation. During the five years through 2018-19, industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualised 4.4% to reach $845.2 million. There is still room for the industry to compete with traditional legal services. The movement into new areas and the expansion of activity as current reforms are adopted will continue to support industry revenue growth.
Some of the interesting findings of the report include:
- There are about 1,456 businesses in the industry in Australia.
- Market share in the industry is primarily held by big law firms.
- Key external drivers for the ADR industry in Australia include: Capital expenditure by the private sector, days lost to industrial disputes, the price of legal and accounting fees, and the number of divorces.
- The ADR industry is in a growth stage, has low barriers to entry, and medium levels of competition (concentrated in NSW and Vic).
- Fees charged by industry participants have risen in line with demand for services, leading to a boost in profitability.
- Mediation comprises about 38.7% of the market, 36.2% is arbitration, 19.3% conciliation and 5.8% other.
The whole report is available at http://www.ibisworld.com.au.
A very interesting blog post by Dr Julie Macfarlane in which she sketches out the basics of a lawyer-coach role as an additional way of offering legal services.
One of my big projects at the moment is working on a book called the Melodrama of Conflict. My theory is that people who are not managing conflict well tend to tell their story of conflict in the genre of melodrama (the proper classical genre, not the way we use the term colloquially).
Professor Nadja Alexander and I developed the REAL Conflict Coaching System to support people in conflict to move away from dysfunctional melodramatic conflict narratives. We want our clients to move from being a passive victim to being the active hero of their future conflict story. It might sound weird, but I think a better genre for a constructive conflict narrative is tragedy.
To find out more, listen to my talk to the International Coaching Federation in the USA on coaching people through the melodrama of conflict (this is a recording of the tele-seminar, so there’s a bit of chit chat at the start as people logged into the call): http://www.freeconference.com/RecordingDownload.aspx?R=13352997&C=734&E=193325
Shift is a one-hour scripted television drama series that reveals the inner workings of the world of conflict resolution. In the same way The West Wing showed us how the sausage is made behind the scenes in the White House, Shift reveals the often hidden world of conflict transformation. This series is dramatically compelling, culturally rich and truly meaningful to our lives.
How Well Developed is This Project?
Shift has traveled far on the road of development. We have three complete one-hour scripts and additional treatments for 13 episodes, with hundreds of additional conflict scenarios you will find compelling. We are ready to launch into production, given the right talent pool and studio connections. We believe producing this trailer will put us over the top and give us what we need to demonstrate what we can do to the right people.
What is Portrayed in the Trailer?
The trailer showcases one of our lead characters, Ray Gopaul, who is an African-American former Marine and Viet Nam veteran. Ray is a consummate mediator and an ace crisis negotiator. He gravitates to the edgy, dangerous realms of conflict, working with street gangs, murderers and civil war combatants. He’s always pushing the envelope, testing the comfort zone of his colleagues and his clients.
In the trailer, Ray initiates work on a case that screams scandal from the headlines. He throws himself into this case, which is universally believed to be hopeless. In the trailer, you will see how Ray shifts a defendant found guilty of a heinous crime toward a willingness to participate in Restorative Justice as part of the sentencing phase of his trial.
See more here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/shift–21